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Mortgage Repossession - Make Sure You Know The Facts

Aug 17, 2007
Mortgage repossession is a devastating thing. Having your home swept out from under you is not only a financial crisis. It can be an emotional one as well.

In the UK, however, there is a piece of federal legislation that prevents mortgage repossession from actual making a person or family homeless. The law is called the Prevention of Homelessness Act, and protects residents of England and Northern Ireland.

It says that if a person or family occupies a dwelling and it is their principal and only home but becomes subject to mortgage repossession or any adversary tenant eviction proceedings, the court can suspend that eviction or mortgage repossession order to give that person or family time to find a reasonable alternative place to live.

The law says that the application may be made by the person who is subject to mortgage repossession or tenant eviction prior to that action being taken.

Where a person occupies the home as her, his or their only dwelling the court has the power to suspend the repossession or eviction enforcement for any period and under any conditions that the UK court sees fit to impose.

The criteria given the court for this mortgage repossession or tenant eviction protection is very lenient. In fact, it almost just says, do what you think is right, judge.

The legislation stipulates that a court can decide to suspend the repossession for mortgage arrears or eviction for unpaid rent to prevent the person or persons residing there from sleeping rough or having to live somewhere not reasonably fit for any habitation by humans.

The definition of mortgage repossession or landlord or tenant repossession proceedings is defined as litigation begun in a court of the United Kingdom by the lender or landlord for purposes of recovering possession of property that is occupied by the debtor or tenant as her or his main or sole residence.

One portion of this homelessness prevention bill talks about variable interest rates, and gives the court the power to actually change the rate of interest that the debtor is paying on the mortgage if that is a reasonable thing to do to prevent repossession and homelessness.

There are some stipulations built in, however. The rate of interest that the court alters the mortgage to cannot be less than that applied by the UK federal Department for Work and Pensions (must like Social Services and its Section H housing assistance in the U.S.)

The Prevention of Homelessness Act also allows the court to put into effect a waiver of charges and fees in the interest of trying to ward off a mortgage repossession. These fees waived could include legal and court costs including the expenses incurred by the debtor for an indemnity clause.

The legislation further stipulates that should someone become eligible for, and acquire public assistance, the payment of the mortgage, to prevent repossession might also be paid out of the public assistance check awarded, at the discretion of the court.

Clearly, in the UK, the government has seen fit to protect the interests of homeowners and tenants and assure that they keep their homes wherever and whenever possible.
About the Author
James Copper works for Stop Repossession Today who help homeowners stop mortgage repossession and avoid repossession.
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